Saturday, 11 August 2012

Pop: No more equality for black people and space hippos.

I spend a lot of my time being angry about equality, most of my posts on this blog have complained that the world just won’t do what I want it to when it comes to that little word and I have lamented in private multiple times over the dilemma of wanting to change the world while staying entirely anonymous. But I realised that I have never simply set out what my views on equality are, hence this blog post. 

I think one of the worst things that a person can do is fight for equality with a proviso on the end, as in, fight for equality for something. Fighting for equality for black people, equality for white people, equality for women or equality for men, equality for space hippos, all of it is just as despicable and shows a misunderstanding of the word in question. Equality is the essence of being equal, one group of people can’t be chosen to be more equal than they have been because it doesn’t make sense. Equality can only occur in a situation, or with an action. If women don’t have equal rights in business, then we should be fighting for equality in business. It doesn’t mean that we should be fighting for equality for women, it means that there is a situation that needs looking into. 

This is where my problem with feminism comes in, and where my problem with black power groups also comes in. It is impossible to fight for true equality if you only care about one group of people because this kind of attitude inherently ignores any inequal things perpetrated by the group of people that you are fighting for. For example, feminists complain consistantly about business. When they say they want equality for women they will more often than not move into statistics about the number of women in business. They don’t care though, about the amount of men in child care or the fact that women have special treatment when it comes to child rearing. By picking a group of people to fight for, rather than fighting for situation specific inequalities, they end up fighting for superiority for certain groups of people. Another example of this is the Olympics. Women and disabled people should be allowed to compete in the Olympics. But they don’t try and compete alongside men because they know they would lose. They see it as equality for women and disabled people to have their own races, thereby making it easier for them.

We should fight for equality, unreservedly. That means that if a situation appears where there is an advantage for one group or a disadvantage for another, then that situation should be fixed. Black rights, white rights, women’s rights and the like should not exist. They only serve to fuel the imaginary differences between us all, and prevent the groups that are seen as the majority from receiving any sort of fair treatment. If we fought for equality then somebody would look into jobs and all of the problems with better pensions for women, less pay for women, not enough men in childcare and bias towards women with children, would be fixed because it wouldn’t matter what gender the people demanding equality were. We could simply fix the problems at hand. But instead, we are left with people like Jo Brand spouting sexism against men at every opportunity, people like Jessie Jackson getting away with racism towards white people and organisations like the girl guides being allowed to not let boys in because ‘they are a bad influence.’ If we as a society understood equality, and truly strived for it, then these people would be dealt with and shunned.

They are examples of the darker side of human nature, the justifications for attempted superiority as opposed to fixing the areas of inequality that they can see. The Suffragists didn’t fight for women’s rights, they fought for women to have the vote because this one situation was unequal. Rosa Parks didn’t want it to be okay for black people to call white people names and to capitalise black where they leave white with a little letter, she just wanted to be able to sit on the bus where everyone else did. And I’m sure that when the equality and human rights acts were passed allowing us all to live together in this country, the people who wrote it didn’t want it to be okay for me to automatically be called impure and not even be given the slightest scrap of acknowledgement by the muslims at the mosque down the road while my husband gets a nod in hello, or to be abused by them on the internet, just because I’m a white female, but that is what happens when we try and fix the world for one group of people irrespective of their actual position in society. 

Until we abandon this ridiculous and ignorant notion of fighting for equality for whatever group serves us the best, equality will never exist. Don’t fight for black people or white people. Don’t fight for women or men. Don’t fight for gay people or straight people and don’t fight for space hippos. Just fight for us all to be equal, without anything else on the end of the sentence. The distinction might be small, but it’s important. 

And on a separate note, I would like to once again express my disgust at America and the U.K. for siding with the Syrian Opposition. Both countries should be ashamed of themselves. 

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